A commitment to serve all the children of Georgia and to create a diverse school community is the basis of selection for members of the ICAGeorgia Governing Board.
Criteria for the selection of board members includes not only expertise in a wide range of relevant fields such as finance, education, law, human resources, community leadership, experience on other non-profit boards, educational facilities, real estate, politics, and global business, but also peaceful conflict resolution skills and a flexible and open mind to diversity. An understanding of the school’s mission and a commitment to actively participate are also considered of extreme importance.
The governing board is a critical element in developing ICAGeorgia and having an effective organization. The board’s duties include 1) evaluating the school; 2) creating school policies; 3) approving the budget; 4) fulfilling legal responsibilities; 5) providing oversight functions; 6) promoting ICAGeorgia’s mission by advocating for the school, its educational philosophy, and its goals within the community; 7) cultivating relationships with donors, funders, and stakeholders to promote fundraising; and 8) committing and take an active role in strategic planning. The governing board leads in partnership with the school administrator.
The governing board is responsible for creating the long-term goals and mission for the school and navigating changes and adjustments as the need arises. It is then the duty of the principal to implement a plan so that the school can meet those goals. The governing board is responsible for 1) setting and communicating a vision that focuses on student achievement and academic growth by determining and implementing an innovative curriculum, school structure, and culture suitable for the school; 2) setting the priorities, objectives, and operational processes needed to meet the goals of ICAGeorgia; and 3) overseeing the goals and objectives of ICAGeorgia including the fiscal stability of the school.
A Finance Committee, formed by the governing board, sets policies for budgeting, provides appropriate board oversight of school finances, ensures accurate and comprehensive financial reporting to the board, and raises strategic financial issues for board discussion. The Finance Committee is chaired by the Treasurer. The Finance Committee’s responsibilities include oversight of the procurement process and review of monthly financial statements, proposals, and recommendations prior to board review and approval. It also ensures that the annual budget is prepared in a timely manner, allocates resources to support the school’s strategic direction, and drives improved student achievement. The Finance Committee works with the principal and CFO to create the fiscal year budget, to present budget recommendations to the board, to monitor implementation of the approved budget on a regular basis, to recommend proposed budget revisions, and to recommend to the board appropriate policies for the management of ICAGeorgia’s assets. The Finance Committee also develops and implements a board-level training program to ensure that all members can be effective stewards of the school’s financial resources. ICAGeorgia is responsible for submitting a budget for approval to the Georgia Department of Education as part of the state charter school’s consolidated application for federal funding. The budget details how ICAGeorgia intends to utilize its federal allocation to meet the requirements of the law. ICAGeorgia utilizes the chart of accounts adopted by the Georgia Department of Education to determine the correct fund codes and object classes.
The governing board establishes overall policies regarding finances, enrollment, program evaluation, and other operational aspects to provide direction to the principal and staff in implementing the school’s goals and to ensure that the school meets legal compliance. A written copy of school policies is available to anyone who requests it. Copies can be obtained in the school office and on the school’s website.
All governing board members undergo training to make sure they understand the legal expectations and obligations of a nonprofit organization. Then, with those expectations and obligations in mind, they set policies and monitor how those policies are implemented. When and if any legal issues arise, the governing board conducts any necessary information gathering from the school community and, while remaining open to the opinions of all parties involved, ultimately makes the final decision. The governing board has among its members an attorney to help educate school personnel on applicable laws and regulations and identify legal issues in operating the school. The governing board has access to certain attorneys with relevant expertise who have offered to support the school on a pro bono basis. The governing board also seeks paid legal representation when necessary.
The governing board doesn’t aim only to hire talented school administrators; it aims to build an effective, productive, and trusting relationship with the school administrators, working in constructive partnership on behalf of the students and their academic achievement. Building this relationship between the school administrators and the board is a critical lever of success for ICAGeorgia. The board and administrators share clearly defined, annual goals and address challenges in a timely and effective way. It is the governing board’s responsibility to 1) create administration job descriptions and responsibilities; 2) hire qualified administrators; and 3) evaluate all members of the school administration. ICAGeorgia uses the Leader Keys Effectiveness Systems for evaluation of its administrators and provides ongoing support, although the day-to-day operations of the school are the responsibility of the school administrators.
The funds per pupil may not fully cover the cost of educating students, allow the school to offer the salaries and benefits to attract and retain skilled and dedicated educators, or provide the other services expected of ICAGeorgia. The governing board thus seeks a diversified funding base that includes annual campaign dollars, endowment income, special event income, grants, and other planned gifts and in-kind donations of goods and services. Board-driven fundraising is an important source of additional school funding. The governing board performs an initial SWOT analysis when putting together its fund development plan, implements the long-term strategic goals for fundraising, and prioritizes financial needs. The governing board is responsible for 1) involving and motivating all individual board members in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of gifts; 2) developing strategies for major gift cultivation and solicitation; 3) setting annual goals and regularly monitoring progress against those goals, and 4) taking fundraising training as needed. The governing board plans fundraising events and activities.
The governing board is constituted in accordance with all applicable legal requirements, including, but not limited to, O.C.G.A. §20-2-2084. All of the members of the governing board are United States citizens and residents of the State of Georgia. None of the members are employees of the school. However, the principal and chief financial officer are allowed to attend meetings of the governing board as ex-officio members.
The governing board consists of not less than five and not more than eleven members. The board aims to maintain an odd number of members to prevent any ties during the voting process. To ensure continuity, and to not have all of its members’ terms expire at once, the members of the governing board have staggered two-year terms, and only half of the governing board are subject to re-election every year. No individual may serve for more than three consecutive terms on the governing board.
A description of the governing board and the board member recruitment process will be available on our website at all times.
The officers of the corporation consist of a President (hereinafter “Chair”), Vice President (hereinafter “Vice Chair”), a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
Subject to board control, the Chair has general supervision, direction, and control of the affairs of the corporation, and such other powers and duties as the board may prescribe. The Chair’s duties are to (a) preside at board meetings; (b) represent the board to external stakeholders; (c) build relationship with community leaders, the community at large, authorizers, etc.; (d) oversee strategic planning, evaluation; and (e) set the agenda of each board meeting in consultation with the school principal and CFO.
If the Chair is absent or disabled, the Vice Chair performs all the Chair’s duties and, when so acting, has all the Chair’s powers and is subject to the same restrictions. The Vice Chair has other such powers and performs such other duties as the board may prescribe.
The Secretary’s duties include (a) keeping a book of minutes of all meetings of the board and board committees, noting the time and place of the meeting, whether it was regular or special (and if special, how authorized), the notice given, the names of those present, and the proceedings; (b) keeping a copy of the corporation’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, with amendments; (c) giving notice of the board and committee meetings as required by the Bylaws; and (d) having such other powers and performing such other duties as the board may prescribe.
The Treasurer’s duties include (a) reviewing monthly financial reports; (b) assuming responsibility for the budget and financial planning; (c) setting financial policies and procedures and assuming responsibility for the audit process.
The Governance Committee provides all board members specific training, seminar information, and orientation for new members regarding governance. The committee leads the search for new board members, monitors and evaluates performance of the board (including a self-assessment process), sets yearly goals/strategic planning, and communicates with other charter schools’ governance committees to learn about how they are overcoming their challenges.
The Treasurer chairs the Finance Committee, which meets before every board meeting, at minimum. The Finance Committee’s responsibilities include oversight of the procurement process and review of monthly financial statements, proposals, and recommendations prior to board review and approval. It also ensures that the annual budget and audit process are prepared in a timely manner.
A board member may be removed at any time by a vote of two-thirds of the board members for reasons including but not limited to unethical behavior, violation of the conflict of interest agreement, failure to meet goals related to committee leadership, discourteous behavior toward board members, school staff, parents, students, etc.